Differential pipe sticking (DPS) is one of the most conventional and serious problems in drilling operations that imposes some extra costs to companies. This phenomenon originates mainly from improper mud properties, bottomhole assembly (BHA) (contacting area), still pipe time, and differential pressure between the formation and the drilling mud. Investigation on various conditions that lead to DPS makes it possible to develop some preventive treatments to avoid this problem's occurrence. In the past, statistical methods were applied in this area, but recently artificial neural network (ANN) approaches are frequently being used. ANNs have some priorities over conventional statistical methods such as the model-free form of predictions, tolerance to data errors, data-driven nature, and fast computation. On the other hand, the designed ANNs have some shortcomings and restrictions as they are developed to predict problems. In this paper, to solve most of the existing disadvantages of ANNs, a novel support-vector machine (SVM) approach has been developed to predict a DPS occurrence in horizontal and sidetracked wells in Iranian offshore oil fields. The results from the analysis have shown the potential of the SVM and ANNs to predict DPS, with the SVM results being more promising.

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